Is Cold-Water Swimming the Secret to a Happier Life?

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Finland has been named the world’s happiest country for seven years in a row. It’s also home to 3 million saunas for a population of 5.5 million people. And roughly one-fifth of Finns take part in something called “cold water” or “winter” swimming.

Coincidence? We think not, and our guest, Katja Pantzar, agrees.

A Canadian-Finnish journalist based in Helsinki, Pantzar first discovered cold-water swimming a decade ago and now swims in the Baltic Sea almost every day — all year round.

She’s also the author of several books on the subject, including the bestselling The Finnish Way — about Nordic well-being, winter swimming, sauna and sisu — which has been translated into 24 languages to date.

In this episode, Pantzar shares:

  • What cold-water swimming is all about (spoiler: no laps are involved)
  • The physical and mental health benefits associated with it
  • The dos and don’ts for safe cold-water swimming
  • The connection between winter swimming and “sisu,” a uniquely Finnish brand of perseverance, fortitude and resilience
  • The details of her latest book, The Power of Hot and Cold, which she co-wrote with Sauna from Finland‘s Carita Harju

…and so much more!


Mentioned in this episode:

Katja Pantzar
The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness, and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu
The Power of Hot & Cold: From Sauna to Sea: The Finnish Way to a Happy, Healthy Life
Carita Harju, Executive Director of Sauna from Finland


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